David Estrada strikes again
On Friday night, in front of 38,ooo plus fans, and in front of a national TV audience as well, the Seattle Sounders blanked the Houston Dynamo 2-0 for their second straight win to start the MLS season.
Even though the Sounders got off to a very slow start, allowing Houston to control the game for the first 20 minutes, a lucky bounce, and a well time penalty gave the home side the win.
It has been said before that great teams find a way to win, and this was a prime example of that motto. The Sounders were playing without team captain Mauro Rosales, and the lack of their playmaker showed early on.
But thanks to a deflated Dynamo squad after the penalty, the Sounders found their form, and finished the final hour strong.
A familiar voice
Though it was only because of the national TV coverage of NBC Sports Network, it was still nice to see and hear Arlo White back in Seattle calling a Sounders match.
The familiar voice just seems to make Sounders games more enjoyable. I am still getting used to the new tandem of Ross Fletcher and Kasey Keller. Though I am not a conservative by choice, I do tend to have a hard time getting used to new things.
Especially when it comes to my sports teams.
A lucky bounce
Like Maradona’s hand of God, the deflection that was, then wasn’t, then finally was again, David Estrada‘s fourth goal of the young season was the turning point of the match. A short four minutes later, Brad Evans connected on a penalty that put the Dynamo away.
With the Sounders tenacity on the ball, often drawing some questionable fouls, the Dynamo had nothing left after the second goal.
They were definitely a team that was emotionally beaten.
And the Sounders played out the rest of the game knowing this, and taking advantage of the Dynamo’s efforts to get the ball forward.
Lack of identity early
As noted above, the Sounders were without captain Mauro Rosales, and they lacked the identity of the past few weeks.
In place of Rosales, Roger Levesque got the start, and the right side of the field seemed to suffer greatly.
Not taking anything away from Roger, but let’s be honest; he is not even close to being the playmaker that Rosales is. Hopefully Rosales will be fit enough to appear in the next match.
Even with the win, the Sounders need Rosales on the pitch in order to play their style.
Bunching up again
Early in the game, especially in the first half-hour when the Dynamo were in control of the game, the Sounders were caught off guard a few times defensively.
They seem to have this new found problem of bunching up inside the box. Maybe this works on set pieces, but for live game play, this will end up burning them badly if they can’t get this fixed.
Michael Gspurning had a brilliant finger tip save during one of these lapses, one of the only real chances Houston had at erasing his clean sheet.
Though I said above that I am not one to accept change too easily when it comes to my sports teams, Gspurning is really impressing me. I will never forget Kasey Keller, but Gspurning is making the transition a lot easier I think.
His play has been solid in the first two games.